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PostPosted: March 23, 2017, 12:05 pm 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
Posts: 4699
Location: West Chicago,IL
I touched briefly on this over on the Grandfather's Stolen Tools thread. With the recent selling of Craftsman tools to Stanley B&, it will definitely become more difficult to make an in-store exchange under their lifetime warranty. This got me to thinking, it seems there at a lot of companies planning on closing more brick and mortar stores in 2017. Here is the short list I saw:

Sears closing 42 stores
K-Mart (Owned by Sears) 108 more closings
Macy's 100 out of 675 will be gone
JC Penny's 138
Walmart (Walmart of all)154
MC Sports (bankruptcy) closing all stores
Gander Mountain 32 out of 162

It seems that Internet sales are rapidly taking over sales from the Bricks and Mortar stores. This is not new news. It has been the same story for the last 5-10 years or more, just a process that is accelerating. I have to admit that I too am part of that problem. I buy a fair amount of items online, either eBay, Amazon, Sears, Walmart and others.

B&M sores have their place. Some items I need to see, touch and feel to determine the ergonomics or quality of the item. I understand that. Sometimes I may need to talk to an informed sales person about an item or compare 2 similar items side by side. Without the B&M stores, I just keep USPS, FedEx and UPS in business returning unsuitable items.

Go into any retail store and ask a clerk for a particular item. If they don't have it, they will often say "You can order it on our online store". If I wanted to do that, I would not have gone to the store to look for it in the first place. And if I really need to go online, I can usually find it for less money on some other website.

It is not just internet sales taking their business away. There has to be some responsibility by the companies themselves for some loss of business. They actively, maybe by design, drive buyers away from their B&M stores and sometimes even their online presence too.

Imagine, you see something you might like in an online store, say at Walmart. You see that it is in stock at the local B&M store. Now try to go and buy it there. Sometimes the price is different from the on-line offering. So print out the add and take it with you. Some places will not price match their own website. Getting the online price may require you to open your phone and place an online order for immediate pickup at the same store you are standing in. Then a clerk goes to the shelf right in front of you, pulls the item off the shelf and moves it to the online sales pickup counter. That just doesn't make sense, does it?

It used to be that online stores only had offerings from just that store. Now Walmart, Sears, and even Amazon, plus many other online stores will sell you items they provide. In many cases they act as a sales path for the same item sold and shipped by other sellers, many times with different return policies. WTF?

Some stores have their online presence and sell the same items on eBay. Sometimes their eBay price is less! That shouldn't be right, should it?

So major retailers' B&M stores are having a tough time and it will only get worse. Nothing lasts forever. With the complexity and obfuscation of their online sites, it is becoming more difficult to be Company-loyal in online sales. This can't be good for the future of any retail company's bottom line. I wonder what the next 10 years will bring.

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PostPosted: March 23, 2017, 1:06 pm 
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Joined: November 11, 2013, 4:47 am
Posts: 922
Location: No. Nevada
I'm still swimming against the tide.
When I want to buy something it's because I NEED it.
If I NEED it I need it NOW, not a week later.
So most 'Net sellers are fairly useless to me.
Exception is if I know I will have it the next day, and even then I often make a drive to the larger city to pick up the item rather than be delayed.

If I'm unsure of the item a regular store needs to be available so that I can check it for fit/function.
Then there are the times you are working from concept but there is no know part, you need to be able to sort through the shelves.
Good luck doing that at Amazon!

What I really despise for web sales are the "Virtual" stores.
There is NO WAY to contact ANYONE for assistance, and even if you did they know NOTHING as they are just some lazy punk with a PC living in Mom's basement collecting a percentage for pass-through sales.
They actually have no inventory and do nothing to EARN their commission while cluttering the web with their lame little sites.
You will find hundreds of these on feeBay, all selling the same (Mostly Chinese knock-off) junk

Sadly too many "B&M" store staff now are no better than the virtual stores.
Case in point, I recently needed to buy a better digital camera, on a limited budget.
Had to have it ready the next morning so 'Net sales were useless.
Had to visit three stores to find one with a salesperson capable of answering basic questions!

I try to avoid the web sellers as much as possible.
And ANY company that spams me will never see a cent of my money, I block their domain immediately.
I try to shop locally, if I'm going to pay sales tax I want it to come back to my county.

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PostPosted: March 23, 2017, 3:03 pm 
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Joined: April 26, 2008, 6:06 pm
Posts: 2964
Location: Under the weather. (Seattle)
Everything goes in cycles, such that what's old is new again. There was a time when you had to buy from travelers who bought and traded goods from all over the world. Then somebody decided to have a building people could come to for all of their purchases. Some of the old traders successfully made the transition to compete in this new market with their upstart rivals, others did not. Then with the development of a widespread mail delivery system, came the advent of mail order. Some old companies successfully made the transition to compete in this new market with their upstart rivals, others did not. Then came the advent of the mall, and its evolution and the re-expansion of physical stores. Some old companies successfully made the transition to compete in this renewed market with their upstart rivals, others did not. Then came the internet age, and its evolution and re-expansion of the mail order system. Some old companies successfully made the transition to compete in this renewed market with their upstart rivals, others did/will not.

In due time, the evolution and re-expansion of the physical store model will happen again. Consider Amazon, the company whose foundation was online book sales and drove physical book stores to the verge of extinction, who has begun opening physical book stores in major cities across the country. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall at the meeting where that 'revolutionary' idea was proposed...LOL.

The problem is, that the bigger any organization becomes, the more slowly (and often inadequately) it is forced to react to market forces. Hence some of the horribly implemented attempts to compete with upstarts dedicated to the 'new' internet sales format. I expect Amazon will eventually have this problem, whether it's the large-scale transition to more of a physical store format, or the subsequent large-scale transition back away from it.

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PostPosted: March 23, 2017, 10:09 pm 
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Joined: March 19, 2011, 10:22 am
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Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
Driven5 wrote:
Everything goes in cycles, such that what's old is new again. There was a time when you had to buy from travelers who bought and traded goods from all over the world. Then somebody decided to have a building people could come to for all of their purchases. Some of the old traders successfully made the transition to compete in this new market with their upstart rivals, others did not. Then with the development of a widespread mail delivery system, came the advent of mail order. Some old companies successfully made the transition to compete in this new market with their upstart rivals, others did not. Then came the advent of the mall, and its evolution and the re-expansion of physical stores. Some old companies successfully made the transition to compete in this renewed market with their upstart rivals, others did not. Then came the internet age, and its evolution and re-expansion of the mail order system. Some old companies successfully made the transition to compete in this renewed market with their upstart rivals, others did/will not.

Very well said, being on this rock for only 58 years I can relate to everything you say.
And like I say, with the technology they have now a-days, next thing you know, they'll put a man on the moon...............

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PostPosted: March 23, 2017, 10:15 pm 
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Joined: April 5, 2008, 2:25 am
Posts: 4704
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
I'm with Richard. I'm too impatient to wait and then find out it doesn't fit/work/not the right thing/etc./etc. and have to send it back and wait some more.

About the only things I buy online are things I can't get at a store or things I've touched and felt at a regular store (well at least the ones that will let me back in with all the touching & feeling) and they either don't have it or it's way over priced for me.

I'm an Amazon prime member and I've ordered only 2 things from them this year. I'm about to order Golf cart batteries and another set of golf cart tires because I can't find them in stock anyplace except a golf cart shop and they want $1,000 for what I can buy for $300 at Amazon. Now that's worth waiting for.

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I drive therefore I am

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PostPosted: March 24, 2017, 9:04 am 
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Joined: April 12, 2012, 11:56 am
Posts: 633
Location: Pemberton, BC
I've always hated shopping, and have considered the malls to be one of the most dreadful human endeavors. Rows and rows of the same stores, people aimlessly wandering and mindlessly buying stuff; good riddance.
http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/companie ... spartandhp
Luckily we live in such a small town, that my daughters only know shopping from our infrequent trips to the big city. The closest Walmart and Home Depot are 1 1/2 hrs away. So we have fully embraced the online experience. It was through my various builds that I have actually gained that experience. And we have no problem waiting for stuff. When we do shop, with kudos to my better half, we are much more focused. We take a trip to the city, and we know exactly where we go and what we need. The girls know that it's in and out, get your stuff.
75% of my build related parts, I buy online (Steel and heavy parts obviously not). And if I ordered something wrong, that's what the next build is for :lol:

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